Dabo Swinney: Clemson might have inadvertently provided PEDs to suspended players


Dexter Lawrence of the Clemson Tigers looks on from the sideline during the second quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) (Harry How)

BY AL.COM,  WRITTEN By Creg Stephenson | [email protected]

Clemson football medical personnel might have inadvertently provided performance-enhancing drugs to players, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney acknowledged in a report published Saturday.

Three Clemson players — star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, back-up tight end Braden Galloway and reserve offensive lineman Zach Giella — tested positive for ostarine in a test administered in December by the NCAA. All three sat out both the Cotton Bowl vs. Notre Dame and the College Football Playoff National Championship Game vs. Alabama.

Speaking to the Post and Courier of Charleston, Swinney said school officials still aren’t sure how the players ingested the ostarine, which boosts muscle growth and prevents fatigue. It’s possible the players got the banned substance in supplements that team trainers believed were legal under NCAA rules, he said.

“Oh yeah, I mean, there’s a chance that it could come from anything,” Swinney said. “They’re going to test everything and look at everything. And that’s the problem. As you really look at this stuff, it could be a contaminant that came from anything, that was something that was cleared and not a problem, and all of a sudden, it becomes there was something.”

Though Lawrence left school after the season to enter the NFL draft, Galloway and Giella are also suspended for all of 2019. The three players were among 22 on the Tigers’ roster tested at random by the NCAA prior to the College Football Playoff.

Clemson, which beat Alabama 44-16 to win the national championship, has appealed the penalties to the NCAA.